Tellers of the San Diego Storytelling Festival 2018 - Storytellers of San ...

 
Tellers of the San Diego Storytelling Festival 2018 - Storytellers of San ...
Tellers of the San Diego Storytelling Festival
                    2018
Stacie Birky Greene
Originally from Colorado, Stacie Birky Greene received degrees in
Art and Art History from the University of Kentucky. She also
studied in Florence, Italy, and at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Although painting was the focus of her training, she has explored
her art in a wide variety of media, including drawing,
performance, photography, installation and video.

The central focus of Birky Greene’s work has been to explore nature through a combination
of materials and techniques. Her approach has often been guided by a fascination with form
and shape, particularly as nodes for connecting unlikely allies, such as coral and cacti. By
taking organic materials (or at least their representation) out of context, she compels the
viewer to revel in patterns of structural unity. Her recent work has also considered the
impact of human consumption and climate change on the natural world. Appalled by mass
deforestation and habitat destruction, she has turned her attention to bird species that have
gone extinct since the time of her own birth. The tangible results of this study will be
revealed over the course of the next few years, in a variety of projects. One feature of these
works that is important to consider is her choice of materials: namely, junk mail, which she
either uses “as is” or manipulates, with the addition of other detritus, into homemade paper.
It is a project that implicates us all in its struggle: here are beautiful objects made,
nevertheless, from unwanted materials. Moreover, the materials themselves are the products
of overconsumption of resources – fossil fuels burned in production and transportation, and
deforestation to provide wood pulp for paper. The problem of avian ecology and the
pressures these birds face is multidimensional, but the viewer is placed in the unlikely
position of assessing and admiring the victim even as its emblem is formed from
components that have been implicated in its destruction.

Birky Greene lives in San Diego, and she exhibits her artwork locally and internationally. She
has taught art to children and adults since 1998.

Stacie will lend her artistic talents to the “Birds of a Feather” concert with Mindy Donner, Patti
Christensen & James Nelson-Lucas, Fred Laskowski and Linda Whiteside at 2 PM on Stage 1
(Community Room).
Tellers of the San Diego Storytelling Festival 2018 - Storytellers of San ...
Giovanni Brooks
                             Giovanni Brooks lives in a tree house and was the first man
                              ever to befriend a black bear while hiking Mt. Everest
                                (alternative facts)! He recently discovered his passion is
                                 writing stories—all of which are not true, and his first book,
                                 Celebrating Differences, is a prime example.

                                You might not have guessed this, but Giovanni is not Italian
                               (gasp!) But is a black guy, with an Italian name, who was
                             raised by his mother and her Jewish boyfriend. (Did you get all
                         of that?) But wait there’s more! He was raised with a Bubbie and
Zayde (Yiddish for grandmother and grandfather respectively) and almost had a Bar Mitzvah
when he turned 13 years old!

Growing up and attending College on the East Coast, he decided shortly after graduating to
take a cross country road trip and relocate to San Diego. This ended up being the best
decision of his life as it was here that he ultimately met his best friend turned wife and they
now have two children.

Giovanni leads the “Celebrating Differences” session at 1:30 PM on Stage 3 (Tween Area).

Joshua Callaway
Joshua P Callaway is a medically retired Army
veteran. He spent fifteen years as an Airborne
infantry man. He has deployed to both Iraq and
Afghanistan. He now lives in San Diego with his
wife and three sons. He is a full-time student and
is pursuing an MFA in creative writing.

                     Joshua participates in the
                    “Real People, Real Stories:
                    True Stories from Veterans” session at 12 PM on Stage 2 (Study Rooms).

                    Patti Christensen
                    Patti Christensen creates a magical program for all ages, enjoying the
                    enthusiasm of rollicking fun stories and songs with plenty of
                    participation. From fun to serious, inspirational to instructional, Patti
                    brings her whole self to sharing stories. She works in many different
venues and is a favorite as a keynote and at birthday and holiday parties.
Tellers of the San Diego Storytelling Festival 2018 - Storytellers of San ...
Patti participates in the “Tales from Around the World” children’s concert at 10 AM on Stage 4
(Children’s Area); participates in the “Birds of a Feather” concert with Stacie Birky Greene at 2
PM on Stage 1 (Community Room); and, participates in the “Voices from the Water’s Edge”
closing concert at 4 PM on Stage 1 (Community Room).

                            Mindy Donner
                            Mindy Donner has been spinning yarns for all ages with her
                            group, Spinning Wheel Players; blending music, sometimes
                            puppets, and encouraging audience participation with rhythm
                            instruments. Together with musician, Eduardo Parra, they
                            perform bilingually (English/Spanish). Mindy delights in telling
                            folktales from around the world, as well as performing an
                            original play, West of Snow, a story of the Donner party.

                              Mindy Donner leads the “Puppetry 101 – The Art of Bringing a
                              Puppet to Life” session at 12 PM on Stage 3 (Tween Area);
participates in the “Birds of a Feather” concert with Stacie Birky Greene at 2 PM on Stage 1
(Community Room); and, participates in the “Voices at the Water’s Edge” closing concert at 4
PM on Stage 1 (Community Room).

Dave Drexler
A trusted broadcast professional for more than 30 years,
Emmy-winning Dave Drexler is one of San Diego's best-
known voice-over talents, on-camera presenters and media
writer/producers. Dave is the Director of Drexler Media, a
professor at San Diego City College and Palomar College,
and is the Producer/Director of our Jazz Live Series. When
not immersed in some sort of audio, Dave enjoys world
travel and he is the host of 'Inside Art', heard every Sunday
morning at 9:30 on KSDS.

Dave brings The Archive Channel podcast to the festival,
offering attendees a chance to record their personal stories.
Visit Dave from 12 to 4 PM on Stage 5 (Computer Lab).

Harlynne Geisler
Harlynne Geisler, original founder of the Storytellers of San Diego, has been a professional
freelance storyteller since 1980 and has told and taught storytelling in festivals, conferences,
schools, colleges, libraries, churches, temples, community centers, preschools and museums
Tellers of the San Diego Storytelling Festival 2018 - Storytellers of San ...
across the country. She has published a book and many
                               articles on storytelling and is listed in Who’s Who in
                               Entertainment. For twenty-five years, she edited a popular
                               storytelling newsletter and has been the resident storyteller for
                               both the San Diego Museum of Art and the Timken Art
                               Museum and a regular columnist for the Laugh Makers
                               Magazine. Her goal is to provide fantasy and hope to all story-
                               listeners.

Harlynne leads the “Tales from Around the World” children’s concert at 10 AM on Stage 4
(Children’s Area); and leads the “Tales for St. Patrick’s Day” children’s concert on Stage 4 at 2
PM (Children’s Area).

Gemini Junction
Gemini Junction burst onto the music scene in
2016 with their debut album release, but you've
no doubt seen these folks around. They've
played at the San Diego Spring Harp Fest, the
Ocean Beach Chili Cookoff, Adams Avenue
Unplugged, and several concerts and festivals for
San Diego Folk Heritage. JT, Annie and Richie are
accomplished songwriters, and address modern
topics in traditionally-inspired song structures
and instrumentation. The choice of strong
material with a blend of lead and rhythm
instruments with multiple voices has made
Gemini Junction an audience favorite.

Annie Rettic is a classically trained singer and violist, but early on found that roots music,
besides being just plain fun, allows her to better connect with the audience. Beyond her
custom 5-string fiddle, Annie's instruments include mountain dulcimer and ukulele.

Richie Strell is a harmonica phenomenon, winning the Best New Player award at the 2015
Spring Harp Fest, and being called on stage to play with everyone from the Beat Farmers to
the Bayou Brothers. Given the chance, he will also break out his musical spoons, and maybe
even a kazoo.

JT Moring provides a strong rhythm foundation on banjo or guitar and taps into his
Kentucky & Texas heritage to bring life to the older material they play, from Carter Family,
to Townes Van Zandt. JT has leveraged his engineering training into a home studio where
the band produces their recordings.
Tellers of the San Diego Storytelling Festival 2018 - Storytellers of San ...
Rocky Smolin, joining the group in 2017, is an upright bass player. At least the instrument is
upright; the player you'll have to judge for yourself. The deep bass broadens the sound of
the group and helps drive the music along. Rocky played folk music in high school, then
took a break from the genre to play bass in rock bands, Dixieland, Afro-Cuban, Klezmer and
straight ahead jazz standards. This folk hiatus lasted some 50 years until Gemini Junction
reminded him how much fun this music is and brought him back into the fold.

Gemini Junction perform on Stage 6 (Main Courtyard) at 10 AM and at 1 PM.

Arlyn Hackett
Arlyn Hackett is a foodstorian. He writes and speaks on the
history and folklore of cooking and eating. He also is a chef,
culinary teacher, food writer and lecturer. His column, “Slice of
History” appeared weekly in the Food section of the San Diego
Union-Tribune for 9 years. He has taught primarily in San Diego
and New York. He also has had his own public television
cooking show and a radio show devoted to food history. Arlyn has traveled extensively and
collected stories and recipes from the places he visited. He may also serve his audience a
rich array of culinary tales based on family experiences.

Chef Arlyn creates a feast of stories to bring people together. He believes sharing a meal or
sharing a story can break down barriers and help resolve conflicts. Sweet or bitter, sour or
spicy, his presentations feed the mind and stimulate our senses. He often will tell stories in
the character of a person from history that may illuminate past events or give a sagey
perspective to our current times.
A listener once described Arlyn Hackett’s stories as “words you can eat.” Come feast on his
stories!

Arlyn participates in the “Wise Fools” opening concert at 11 AM on Stage 1 (Community
Room).
Tellers of the San Diego Storytelling Festival 2018 - Storytellers of San ...
Catherine Espinoza Hampton
                                    Once upon a time in the mid-1980s Catherine Espinoza
                                    Hampton met San Diego puppeteer and storyteller
                                    Mindy Donner. Mindy invited Catherine to narrate a
                                    children’s puppet play and provide incidental harp music
                                    accompaniment to a show she was presenting
                                    somewhere in San Diego. On that day Catherine’s
                                    musical storytelling career hatched!

                                    “Having read bedtime stories to my daughter, complete
                                    with all the character voices (which kept my daughter
                                    wide awake!) I was excited to explore the world of
                                    musical storytelling magic with Mindy.”

Catherine and Mindy partnered for ten years. During that time Catherine attended an
extraordinary storytelling course facilitated by Vicky Reed at USD. Along the way she met
professional storytellers Marilyn McPhie, Jim Dieckmann and Harlynne Geisler. Their unique
storytelling skills and powerful voices inspired Catherine to further develop her own
storytelling voice.

Catherine currently is the librarian at Amesti Elementary School where she shares her love of
stories with students each weekday, and definitely keeps them wide awake! Some days she
brings her harp and whistles to school to weave a special enchantment with a musical story.
“Stories are jewels --- some shine brightly to begin with while others must be dusted off
and polished to bring out their beauty. All stories are treasures to be valued for they return
us to our best selves. Storytellers uncover and bring to life these treasures in a way that is
immediate and timeless.”

Catherine performs during the “Tales from the Emerald Isle” concert at 1 PM on Stage 1
(Community Room); participates in the “Tales for St. Patrick’s Day” children’s concert at 2 PM
on Stage 4 (Children’s Area); and, participates in the “Voices from the Water’s Edge” closing
concert at 4 PM on Stage 1 (Community Room).

Justin Hudnall
Justin Hudnall graduated from New York University’s Tisch School
of the Arts by way of the Department of Dramatic Writing. After
realizing that art alone rarely feeds well, he found employment
with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) where he served
in New York and Southern Sudan. He currently acts as Executive
Director of So Say We All, a San Diego-based arts advocacy and
production non-profit.
Tellers of the San Diego Storytelling Festival 2018 - Storytellers of San ...
Justin leads the “Real People, Real Stories: True Stories from Veterans” session at 12 PM on
Stage 2 (Study Rooms).

                     Fred Laskowski
                     Fred is a Marriage and Family Therapist currently working in the public
                     schools, where his storytelling abilities enliven and enrich his
                     interactions with the students. As a performer, he has been featured at
                     numerous public and private events, including the Sam Hinton Folk
                     Heritage Festival, and the University of San Diego Adult Storytelling
                     Concert Series. He spends his spare time practicing and teaching yoga,
                     hiking, and exploring the wilderness.

                     Fred participates in the “Tales from the Emerald Isle” concert at 1 PM on
Stage 1 (Community Room); participates in the “Birds of a Feather” concert with Stacie Birky
Greene at 2 PM on Stage 1 (Community Room); and, participates in the “Voices from the
Water’s Edge” closing concert at 4 PM on Stage 1 (Community Room).

                               Randel McGee… and his spectacular dragon, Groark
                               Mr. McGee is a professional performer and ventriloquist who
                               has given entertaining and educational shows around the
                               world, in the native languages of each audience. Mr. McGee’s
                               lively characters and illustrations capture the audience's
                               imagination. With his dozens of different voices, chameleon-
                               like face, and energetic body he transforms a story into a
                               memorable life experience.

                                Randel McGee and Groark the dragon have been entertaining
                                audiences of all ages for over 30 years. They have traveled all
                                around the USA and Asia with their fun and lively programs.
                                Whether he was donning his elegant 19th century attire as
                                Hans Christian Andersen, weaving our favorite fairy tales all
the while creating intricate paper cuttings or trying to keep his playful friend Groark the
dragon from taking over the stage, Randel keeps audiences spellbound and laughing!

Randel emcees the “Kids Tell Stories” open mic session at 12:30 PM on Stage 1 (Community
Room); participates in the “Tales from the Emerald Isle” concert at 1 PM on Stage 1
(Community Room); participates in the “Tales for St. Patrick’s Day” children’s concert at 2 PM
on Stage 4 (Children’s Area); and, participates in the “Voices from the Water’s Edge” closing
concert at 4 PM on Stage 1 (Community Room).
Tellers of the San Diego Storytelling Festival 2018 - Storytellers of San ...
Marilyn McPhie
                           Marilyn McPhie became a storyteller by choice—when her son’s
                           preschool gave her a choice of cleaning bathrooms or telling
                           stories. A professional teller since 1985, she has a fondness for
                           old stories with new twists. A National Storytelling Network state
                           liaison, she was featured at the Exchange Place at the National
                           Storytelling Festival and regularly charms festival, school,
                           corporate and conference audiences across the country and
                           beyond with her engaging tales.

Marilyn participates in the “Tales from the Emerald Isle” concert on Stage 1 at 1 PM; and,
participates in the “Voices at the Water’s Edge” closing concert at 4 PM on Stage 1
(Community Room).

                     Francisco Martinezcuello
                     Francisco Martínezcuello was born in Santo Domingo, República
                     Dominicana and raised in Long Island, New York. He has been writing
                     short stories and journaling since he was a teenager. His passion for
                     literature and writing continued throughout his 20 years of Marine
                     Corps service and helped him understand the impact of war on our
                     nation’s veterans. He's a 2017 Virginia Center for the Creative Arts
                     Fellow and a member of So Say We All. Publications include: Incoming
                     (forthcoming), Split Lip Magazine, The War Horse, Beautiful Things –
                     River Teeth, Collateral Journal, and the DominicanWriters Association.
                     Learn more themotorcyclewriter.com.

                     Francisco participates in the “Real People, Real Stories: True Stories from
                     Veterans” session at 12 PM on Stage 2 (Study Rooms).

OJ Mozon, Jr.
A native of Washington, DC, OJ Mozon Jr. is a modern
griot. As a chaplain for the Navy, his deployments and
travels enabled him to share folktales, myths, legends,
Bible stories and historical vignettes at festivals from
North Carolina to the Pacific Northwest. Associated with
the Black Storytellers of San Diego and the National
Association of Black Storytellers, he currently serves as
Developer of Oral Learning with Dynamic Church Planting International.
Tellers of the San Diego Storytelling Festival 2018 - Storytellers of San ...
OJ Mozon, Jr. leads “The Joys of Bible Storytelling” session at 3 PM on Stage 2 (Study Rooms);
and, participates in the “Voices at the Water’s Edge” closing concert on Stage 1 at 4 PM
(Community Room).

                      James Nelson-Lucas
                      James Nelson-Lucas is a storyteller, actor, public speaker, workshop
                      leader, improvisational performer, magician, chef, musician, dancer,
                      clown, writer, producer, and director. He has performed everywhere
                      from churches to corporate settings, from private parties to street
                      theater, to the legitimate stage. He tells tales from historic to
                      humorous, folk to fantastic, educational to entertaining.

                       James participates in the “Tales from Around the World” children’s
                       concert at 10 AM on Stage 4 (Children’s Area); participates in the “Wise
Fools” opening concert at 11 AM on Stage 1 (Community Room); participates in the “Birds of a
Feather” concert with Stacie Birky Greene at 2 PM on Stage 1 (Community Room); and,
participates in the “Voices at the Water’s Edge” closing concert on Stage 1 at 4 PM
(Community Room).

Cher & Steve Pendarvis
Steve and Cher Pendarvis both began surfing in the
mid-1960’s and continue to do so today. They have
a wide range of interests in surf-riding craft, and
together have been constructed a wide variety of
boards of all shapes and sizes for the past 35 years.
Embracing the “aloha spirit,” they are well know
among local surfers, and have travelled
internationally surfing and refining the Pendoflex
brand.

Born and raised in San Diego, Steve began building
wave-riding vehicles, beginning with a marine ply
paipo in 1965, and then shaping surfboards in the late 1960s. Throughout his life, as a
designer and board builder, a highlight has always been tinkering and innovating. Part of
the Sunset Cliffs crew of shaping and designers, his early inspirations include Skip Frye,
George Greenough, and Steve Lis. Steve builds his Pendoflex boards at his workshop. Each
Pendoflex and Pendo is 100% hand made. Many are decorated with colorful abstracts or
painted with local fish species by Cher.
Tellers of the San Diego Storytelling Festival 2018 - Storytellers of San ...
Cher Threinen-Pendarvis started with a child's fascination with art, and graduated from
college with a BFA with Highest Honors and Distinction in Art, specializing in painting and
printmaking. She is an innovative digital artist, but her heart is in painting scenes of
remarkable coastal beauty.

She was an early participant in women’s competitive surfing in the mid 1070’s, but her taste
for adventure found her exploring Baja point breaks instead of continued competition. Steve
and Cher continue to travel and recently spent a month in Australia with the renowned
shaper/surfer George Grennough, trading waves and shaping techniques. During their
presentation, they will share the stories of how they are motivated (stoked) to continue
doing what they love best; surfing.

Cher and Steve lead the “Real People, Real Stories: Sustaining the Stoke – 100 Years of
Surfing” session at 2 PM on Stage 2 (Study Rooms).

                                Taylor Sabree
                                Taylor Sabree originally from Polk County, Florida,
                                rediscovered her love for writing while deployed to
                                Afghanistan, during her service in the U.S. Army. After her
                                enlistment was complete, she moved to California to
                                pursue her dream of showcasing her poetry and her love
                                for acting. She has had the opportunity to be in two plays,
                                two music videos, a web series and a national commercial.
                                Her ultimate goal in life is to be an inspiration and to be
                                the voice for those who have not found theirs. “I thank
                                God for this gift and give Him glory for being able to
move broken hearts with words that have the power to make a difference!”

Taylor participates in the “Real People, Real Stories: True Stories from Veterans” session at 12
PM on Stage 2 (Study Rooms).
Sarah Saulter
Sarah Saulter grew up in the woods of the Pacific
Northwest, making up stories, climbing trees, and making
friends with the local wildlife. She told her first original
story at the age of three, and has been telling tales ever
since. Her current repertoire includes world folk tales and
literary stories, as well as her own original tales.

In the intervening years, Sarah has held diverse day jobs.
She’s worked as a house painter, directed high school
musicals, sold flowers from a rustic wooden cart on a
street corner, and served as a member of the Healing Arts Staff at Rady Children’s Hospital,
where she told stories to patients and their families. Currently, she works as a librarian at a
community college.

A professional storyteller for over 20 years, Sarah as appeared at The Exchange Place at the
National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN, and at local and regional festivals,
including the Sierra and the Mariposa storytelling festivals.

Sarah participates in the “Voices at the Water’s Edge” closing concert on Stage 1 at 4 PM
(Community Room).

Scott Whitehair
As a performer, Scott has brought his
dynamic blend of vulnerability,
humor, and insight to venues,
festivals, and conferences all over the
world, and has been seen/heard on
NPR, PBS, WGN Radio, FOX-TV, Sirius
XM, and The Risk Podcast. He is a
two-time Moth Slam winner and
runner up at The 2012 Windy City All-
City Story Slam Championship. In
2017, he made his debut with
Exchange Place at The National Storytelling Festival. His work ranges from the heartbreaking
to the hilarious, and he has personal stories for both an afternoon with a child in your lap
and a late night with a cocktail in your hand.

As an instructor, Scott has lead hundreds of workshop and class sessions for diverse groups
of all ages, from theater camps to corporate seminars. His independent monthly class has
been selling out since 2012, and he has facilitated training for a wide variety of corporations,
non-profits, and community organizations nationwide. Scott's private coaching clients have
included a Fortune 500 CEO and a candidate for U.S. Surgeon General. He has also been a
frequent guest instructor at Chicago's top universities and business schools. In 2014, he was
the featured instructor at Hong Kong Story Worthy Week, headlined by David Sedaris. No
matter the environment, Scott's goal is always the same: to help people discover and
develop their own unique voices as storytellers.

As a producer, Whitehair has made it his mission to spread his love of storytelling and
create as many opportunities as possible for his neighbors to hear and share stories. He is
the producer of This Much Is True, one of the city's longest running personal narrative
series, creator of Story Lab Chicago, which was recently mentioned in Forbes and
Newsweek, and director of Do Not Submit, a citywide network of community building open
mics. He is frequently asked to bring his production talents to private performances,
organizational showcases, and corporate events of all types.

Scott recently served on the board of directors for the National Storytelling Network.

Scott leads the “Personal Storytelling For Everyone” session at 10 AM on Stage 2 (Study
Rooms). In this active, exploratory workshop, we will mine our life experiences for the seeds of
story, find the universal in our personal, and discuss the role of vulnerability in our telling. No
experience is necessary, and no advance preparation needed. He also participates in the “Wise
Fools” opening concert at 11 AM on Stage 1 (Community Room); emcees the “Your Turn: Open
Mic” session at 3 PM on Stage 1 (Community Room); and, participates in the “Voices at the
Water’s Edge” closing concert on Stage 1 at 4 PM (Community Room).

Linda Whiteside
Linda Whiteside is a Storyteller in the Healing Arts Department at
Rady Children's Hospital. Her bilingual style, fluidly weaving English
and Spanish, delights audiences of all ages. She has told tales in
schools, libraries, universities, organizations, and at the San Diego
Zoo.

Linda emcees the “Wise Fools” opening concert at 11 AM on Stage 1
(Community Room); and participates in the “Birds of a Feather”
session with Stacie Birky Greene at 2 PM on Stage 1 (Community Room).
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